Saturday, May 26, 2012

Around the Back 40

Caroline is on the way to the airport, I ran a few errands and just returned from my manicure.  It is kind of a lazy, Saturday afternoon and I decided to see what James has been up to outside for the last few weeks.  I brought my camera along to share.  I have been so busy preparing lessons and we have had wonderful overnight guests twice this past week so I have not had a minute to go check out his current project.  He's really been bustin' a move up there since I last checked.  First, if you haven't seen the road he and Dave built a few months ago here is Via Tasso:  It's named for Jim's ancestors' village in the Province of Genoa, Italy.  When you build a road it requires a fitting name, don't you agree?

This is the middle half of the road.  It curves into and connects to the driveway in the front.  It is wide enough for a small truck, the tractor and a small car which provides access to the area he's working in now. He is planning his workshop but first things first.  He has to build a barn for some of his cool treasures.  So here is the framing for it.

When I saw this I said, "Wait hold the phone...back up.  Let's fan the barn idea and make this into a fabulous little guest cottage."  Ah, no, it didn't fly, but can you just see it?  He pacified me by saying he does, indeed, want to build one but where the old Green storage shed now sits.  OK, I can be appeased with that idea in mind.  This barn will have aluminum siding in forest green and will be camouflaged from all the house windows.  Yay!  It has its own little alcove surrounded by greenery.  Here is a photo with him in it so you can see the size and scale of it.

Here are  few more pictures of the yard, au naturale.  No flowers and nothing really set up for summer yet but hey, I am sitting here with a little space heater right now so I don't think I am late yet.  Summer,  like the rest of this year is running behind, right along with me.  The area right to the right or north of this picture and slightly down the hill is where his shop is going.  The area below is just to the left or south of the photo.

This is a picture of the back, back 40 where the orchard was years ago.  Now is is the most open space on our property.  I seriously have not set foot on that part of the yard in years (pathetic, I know).  But I will more now that the activity for Jim will be centered out here a lot more.

This area is north east of the barn and just due east of the projected sight of the new workshop.  This area originally had a horseshoe pit and this is going back to that at some point.  You may not know this but Jim's paternal grandparents lived just two doors away from here back in the mid 40's until about 1964.  During Jim's childhood he and his brother played here with the two boys that lived here then.  So he is very familiar with the way it was in the old days.  There is a bit of a restoration going on here.

He would always tell me about this house when we were young and daydreaming of owning our own home one day.   We got very beyond lucky and were able to buy it 34 years ago and his dream became his reality.  So he has deep ties to this land. After 34 years, we both do.

This is our pond.  Jim put the bubbler in it a couple of years ago so we can always hear the water.  That is a real relaxer when all the windows are open.  It also has a beautiful waterfall but we need a new pump that doesn't cost a fortune to run (think spa or hot tub costs).  We mostly only turn that on when we have parties outside.  I love our Venus, she watches over the pond for us.  This is about half of the pond that is visible in the photo.  Our friend and Landscape Designer Extraordinaire, Larry, built this beautiful pond for us for the cost of the materials.  What a beautiful guy. He passed away a few years back~it broke our hearts.  Such a wonderful, generous man and not even approaching old age when he left us.  This has happened way too many times among our good friends.  We call this pond, Larry's Monument.

OK, so here I am just completing the loop and heading back in to write this post.  The big window you see is the back side of our family room and the new road runs right by it and into the front yard and the driveway.  I don't dare stay away from the project outside this long again, no telling what I'll find up there.  I am so proud of my hubby.  He is a man of many talents and I am the lucky recipient of his hard work most of the time.  I never take it for granted because I appreciate it so much and try to do all I can to make his life better too.  You learn that after nearly 44 years of marriage I guess, as I appreciate his contributions even more with each passing year.  When you come to know you are a team pulling the load together, life becomes sweet.  It feels like we are coagulated pretty well~it is a lifelong journey.  In the end everything you go through together just sweetens the pot.  Life is wonderful on this lazy Saturday afternoon in CA.  I hope it is where you are too.  You have the power within you to make it just that~wonderful!  Do it!

Love you, each and every one of you, but then you knew that...Bon  :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

An Emerson Gem


"To laugh often and much~
To win the respect of intelligent people
 and the affection of children~
 To earn the appreciation of honest critics 
and endure the betrayal of false friends~
To appreciate beauty,
 To find the best in others;
 To leave the world a bit better, 
Whether by a healthy child,
 A garden patch 
Or a redeemed social condition~
To know that even one life has 
Breathed easier because you have lived. 
 This is to have succeeded." 

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just one...

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Today is my Mom's Birthday anniversary.  Were she not in heaven she would be 93 today.  Her twin brother, Joseph, is still alive and I must call him today.  Last year when I called him and said "Happy 92nd Birthday, Uncle Joe"  He replied,  "92, 92"?  "Darn, I  thought I was 93".  As long as he lives I feel a little part of my mom is still here.  They are so much alike in so many ways.

Uncle Joe


I wrote this poem below for the inside
 of her funeral program.

My Mother is Always With Me
My mother is always with me.
She's the whisper of the leaves
as I walk down the street.
She's the smell of bleach
in my freshly laundered socks.
She's the cool hand on my brow
when I'm not feeling well.
My mother lives inside my laughter.
She's crystallized in every tear drop.
She's the place I came from
She's my first home.
She's the map that I follow
with every step that I take.
She's my first l♥ve
and my first heart♥break.
Nothing on earth can separate us.
Not time, not space,
Not even death
will ever separate me
from my mother.
I carry her inside of me.
~Author Unknown 

She always love blue, lavender and purple

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Simple Woman's Day Book~May 15, 2012

Just for today~Monday May 7, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my window...the sun has just come up and I am a little tired.  I had some trouble sleeping last night.  You know, one of those nights where your body is exhausted and your brain is wide awake.  I'll be fine until I hit that brick wall at about 4:00 pm today.  Too bad we will still have five more hours of work.  It is going to be a very lovely day here.  Not too hot, not too cold..just right like the porridge in Goldilocks' bowl.

I am thankful for...Jim having completed the class he has been taking for the past 6 Tuesday nights and now I don't have to drive alone to work and back.  Yay!  It is so much better going with him.  I am also thankful that Chris and Missy have arrived home safely from Russia late last night.  And thankful that everyone in the family has had a safe and pretty healthy week.  All except, Spencer, actually who may have strep.  Poor kid.  There is always someone to have special concerns for in a big family. 
From the learning room...Power Point.  Hmm, easy and hard all wrapped mysteriously into one program.  I have a big project and a smaller one due in the next two weeks.  The rubber has hit the road for me.  Do or die trying this week.  Heaven help me, I need it.

I am reading...Well, I am anticipating receiving and reading a book about the production of Downton Abbey that I have ordered from Amazon.  It should arrive about the time I wrap up my two classes so hooray!  My reward for killing my brain this week.

From the kitchen...Gotta get cracking on that again tomorrow.  It is the never-ending pain in the arce for me.  I just need to accept that it must be done and get a new paradigm created.  Any ideas?  Maybe I should try to visualize the wonders of it and chant "I love cooking" over and over and over again.  The problem I have is I like it sometimes but it is the continual every day thing that is crazy making for me.
I am missing...our girl, Laura.  Honestly that girl has gone AWOL or something.  I have been trying to get her on the phone for days on end.  She is a clone of her Dad in the busy department.  Running, Running, Running. Laura if you are reading this...ET phone home!

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...I really love how the scriptures and truths of the Gospel are so easily and differently adapted to our current situations in life.  It is like the spirit of the words just seem to apply no matter what the challenges are.  I am amazed by that and find great comfort and reassurances in it.

I am hearing...Jim is rustling around in the kitchen, getting ready to eat oatmeal and read the paper, there is an owl hooting outside, a rainbird sprinkling a portion of the yard, and an airplane buzzing by over head.  Time for some tunes.  OK, Max Raabe, Stormy Weather.  He has such a fun and unusual voice.  Very 30s and 40s.  He is a German singer.  Be warned though you have to chose the clean songs, he has some rather edgy ones on You Tube.  I am not the owner of any of those, you do believe that don't you?.

One of my guilty pleasures...A Chocolate Zone bar and fruit and milk for breakfast.  Gives me enough protein to last nicely until lunch and easy~a no brainer.  And brought to my computer by the sweet hubby doesn't hurt either.  Spoiled rotten, aren't I?

Pet Peeves...having to be a quasi-expert in every little thing to get by and not be ripped off by some person or company.  Seriously do these people stay up all night trying figure out how to get the better of people?  And why is Safeway charging $7.00 for two large artichokes? Get a grip, Grocers.  A poor little old lady walked past me and said, "I need a million dollars".  It made me sad.  She has probably slaved all her life and now in her 90s has to wonder what she can afford for dinner.

I am get all my ducks in a row or die trying! 

One of my favorite things... things that happen that are so funny to you and your friends from all your previously shared experiences.  Or when something happens and you just know your friend would view it as you do and you are 'one' in so many things.  When you know your friends so well you don't have to speak you just enjoy being together and you feel completely secure in the relationship.  So Friends are one of my favorite things!

I am quoting..."Leap and the net will appear".  Zen saying

An enjoyable movie we have watched lately...Notting Hill.  One of the funniest movies, I love re-watching it.  Light and so British.

I am curious about...where this country is going and I think I have a pretty good idea.  {{flush}}

If I could change one thing it would be...A brighter future for our grandchildren.

Plans for the rest of the week...WW Meeting and work today, Wednesday get my PowerPoint going. work on my presentations until they are done.  Not planning anything that could possibly get in the way.  Time is running out.

Some photos I am sharing this week... thinking about summer!  It is so nostalgic, isn't it...?

Although our summers rarely do seem to actually be like is always the vision of it that come in to my mind and brings the joy. It usually turns out to be something more like this instead......Humph!

Have a great day by making it one!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012

A Very Happy Mother's Day to one and all! Most women I have known, whether a mother or not, are to be celebrated for their bounteous, nurturing qualities. The love and joy that women bring into this world shapes and molds it like no other human force for good. Literally, the hands that rock the cradle bless us all.

Being loved unconditionally by my own mother was a very sacred experience, one like I have never known the likes of, until we had children of our own. I think most mothers would do anything for our children and in some cases have. Being mom to Jennifer, Christopher and Laura has been a priceless gift that never wears out or grows common place for me. They have taught me so much and given me so much love and respect and comfort through this life and I am grateful for them and their goodness.  And being a Gramma just cannot be surpassed in any possible way! We adore them, each and every one!

My Mom, Love Her Forever!

They make every Mother's Day a Happy one for me. And now watching them raise their little families is even more thrilling. They work so hard and I feel exhausted just watching it.

I love you guys and your Dad for the many happy, happy years you can given me. You just keep getting better and better ~ you amaze us constantly.

Jen, Missy and Laura~Happy Mother's Day! You are the best!

I made a Pinterest Board for Mother's Day and you can find it here

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thoughts on Motherhood

Long stemmed Roses from Jennifer and family this year!  Thank You!

Happy Mother's Day!

I gave this talk on Motherhood last year at church. This is something we do in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We get opportunities every once in a while to teach each other from the scriptures, our experiences, and to talk about our testimonies of how God's principles apply in and affect our lives. It is not necessarily an easy thing to do, but it truly is a growing experience and brings you closer to the spirit. So the following is the presentation I will give in church today...

I have enjoyed preparing this talk about motherhood. I have thought deeply about this, it is one of my most favorite subjects. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to focus on just one thing for several days. I am admittedly a bit of a Pollyanna when it comes to motherhood. I love looking on the bright side of it. I believe as the Proclamation on the Family states that:

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.

Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. "

I believe in these principals and think that this proclamation sets out the very best way that family life can thrive. It is how parenthood, as well as, marriage can work best. By recognizing that Motherhood is enhanced in every way by a loving father to share equally in the calling of parenting, should make Mother's Day enjoyable to mothers and fathers alike. Father's Day as well, should really be celebrated as a joint effort in accomplishing God's work with his children entrusted to our care. I like that the obligation of these sacred responsibilities and helping one another as equal partners, truly is God's Plan.

So today is Mother's Day, the day we celebrate all the joys of being mothers and of having mothers. I am all for it, aren't you?

I know that Mother's Day can be a bittersweet day for many, if not all of us. I do not think anyone would deny that the love between parent and child is most unique among all other relationships. It has the power given to us to know charity, or the pure love of Christ like no other. No matter the circumstances, it is nearly impossible to put out the light of love between parent and child. For me this day is bittersweet because I love my mother with all my heart and she has passed from this life and I miss her today...and everyday.

Also in the same manner I love all of our children and our grandchildren and we are not together today either. But I can celebrate Mother's Day with Jim. He was every bit as much a part of raising them as I was. And who knows of and shares in my joy in motherhood more than he does?

For many there are sorrows associated with this day, loss of a mother or child in death, sorrow over things not being as we would wish with a certain child or mother, estrangement, or not having opportunity to receive the blessing of being a parent at all in this life. If you or someone you know struggles with this please read or refer them to this article by Sister Sheri Dew, entitled "Are We Not all Mothers?"

So when these unsettling types of feelings arise on Mother's Day, how can we best handle them?

One thing I have learned in my life is that thoughts precede and produce feelings and feelings govern our well-being. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," the Bible tells us in Proverbs 23:7. The gift of agency allows us to choose how we feel on Mother's Day and every other day. When I feel myself feeling sadly about not being with my mom and our kids today..I get to choose what I think about next.

I choose to think of God's promise of eternal families and that I will be with my mother again one day. And I can think about my gratitude that our children are where they are supposed to be, doing what they are supposed to be doing, and then I am happy. Then I think of all the blessings they have brought to our lives and I feel joy. One of the secrets to a happy life is gratitude. You simply cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time.

So on motherhood, I can only share my subjective feelings. My experiences are difference than yours. If I had to think of one word to sum up what my mothering experiences have given me beyond love or joy, it would be "Enrichment."

Have you ever added up the accumulative parenting and grandparenting years you have so far? It is quite astonishing to know that number. For Jim and me it is, 189 years. Seriously scary isn't it?

Have these kids been perfect? Not hardly. Have we been perfect in our parenting and grandparenting...far from it. But do we love them unconditionally and wholeheartedly and think they are the best kids in the whole world...absolutely. Parenthood is not about perfection it is about building a child, a life, and adopting and teaching a value system in a way that allows them the most advantage and opportunity in this life and the next. They are our best people. That is how we feel...

And you should feel exactly the same way
about your own family!

The width and breath of the experiences we have had as parents could not be gained any other way. The highs and lows, the hard knocks and the blows of disappointment, along with the triumphs and joys, are priceless enrichment in a mother and father's life. In the total scheme of things, I think children teach far more to parents than the other way around. We serve and teach them with all of our hearts and they then teach and serve is the perfect circle of life.

There are so many important stages in raising a family. When I see young mothers I am in awe. When I see how hard you work I cannot even imagine that I too once did all of that. If you don't believe in ministering angels, you should they are all about you helping and lifting you when you think you can't do it another day...another minute.

In those years I barely remember what happened between 1972 and 1990. For example I could not name one record on the top 10 charts during that time and I love music. I was pretty much absent from the world, down in the trenches, just running and serving and caring for our family. I'd get through each day and fall exhausted into bed when I couldn't do any more. Then I'd get up the next morning and repeat.

For those of you in that stage right now, I want to assure you that although you will never be released of your calling as mother, you will see the day when you remember what actually happened a week ago, and what it is like not to be dragging all the time.

When that bitter sweet day comes and your last one flies out of the nest, you will grief the loss of it even though it is hard to imagine now. You will long for the days when you had them surrounding you at home. A word of warning about that recapturing of your memory and doesn't last too long so enjoy it while you can. It is one of the joys of the Empty Nest.

We teach and we pray for our little children continually to be protected from the perils of this crazy world and we worry. If you are holding on to that notion that age 18 is magical, and then your struggles will be over~think again. You always have concern for your boys and girls and pray for them no matter how old they are.

There are so many help books to read about the whole process of parenting. But to me it boils down to a few important things.

I use to love to read books by Richard Eyre and his wife Linda on raising kids. In fact, I still read their books. Parenting Adult Children lies on our bookshelf at home today. Richard Eyre is the originator of The Joy Schools, if you are familiar with them.

He has a new book about Parenting as God Does.
So why not simplify and look to the best parent of all for our mentoring? God our Father.We can begin by remembering who our children really are and to help them remember too. They are our spiritual brothers and sisters and sons and daughters of a King! (This article by the Eyres is amazing and gives you some practical helps on how to do this.)

Examining How God Parents

"So here is a list of some of the things we know about how God, our Heavenly Father parents us.
  1. Complete, unconditional love. We know that God has a deep and unconditional love for each of us and that His love is individual rather than collective.
  1. God sees (and treats) each child as a unique and eternal individual.  He knows each of us perfectly and loves the uniqueness that makes us each who we are.
  1. God gives clear, simple laws with well-announced consequences, rewards, and punishments.   Our Heavenly Father has never been subtle or ambiguous about His rules. He wrote them in stone.
  1. God allows His children the chance to repent. Heavenly Father wants none of us to fail. His laws are not negotiable, and He knows we will fall short, so there is a provision for repentance.
  1. God taught us and trained us and held us close throughout the pre-mortal life; and then He gave us choices and let us go.    God, in His marvelous model for parenting, held us close, kept us with Him in his home, and taught us all He could for eons. And then, when further progress required the responsibility, choice-making, independence and families-of-our-own that could not happen in His presence, He gave us our agency and let us go.
  2. ( I want to add here that when that time comes and they are gone realize, that your job as parents of adult children changes. We should love, support and give our two cents worth only when asked.) Still working on this one!
  1. God allows us constant availability to Him through prayer, and suggests regular communication. With God, there are certain set times when we anticipate spiritual communication--when we partake of the sacrament, when we kneel in family prayer, when we have our personal bedtime prayers. These are like set appointments for spiritual meetings that will keep us in tune and in touch.
  1. God finds joy in his children and in His relationship with them. This one we are good at!
God’s “glory” is the progress and eternal lives of His children, and “joy” is the purpose for which He made mortality. We know that he takes joy in our progress, in our learning, and in His individual relationship with each of us." Article here.
I would like to add a couple of ours to the list.

1. Teach them how to work and work hard. Everything we attain to in this life comes from hard work and lots of it. Sending a young adult out into the world without this skill, only comes back to bite you in the end. And coddling them along in their youth and doing everything for them is not doing them any favors in the long run.

2. Help them to love and support each other and be best friends. You do your best to be the glue that holds your family together when your children are grown. It takes work on your part, they are busy raising their own families, they love their siblings very much, they just don't have a lot of extra time and energy during this time in their lives to stay as connected as they would like.


I love being a mother with all my heart and our family is what I live for, day in and day out. It helps me realize and fulfill the measure of my creation. It is ongoing and I try to never let it become ordinary or to forget what a blessing it is in all its aspects. From the heights of its joy to the depth of its sorrows, it is all good. It is an enrichment of our life experiences and teaches us to be more like Christ, like nothing else can. And when we think it cannot possibly get any better, the crowning glory of life comes along, being a grandparent. There is so much to be thankful for and family is at the top of the list. It is my prayer for all of us that that is where we will be our best selves. Charity, or the Pure Love of Christ, truly does begin at home.

Don't we all want it said of us one day ...that we had these traits from Proverbs 31 about a virtuous woman:

 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. My personal favorite!
29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
It is a life time pursuit for us as women. We need to have faith, pray often, follow our perfect exemplar and mentor, our Father in Heaven, and keep trying. Parenting is like filling our lamp with oil. Little by little, day by day we build our children with the things we say and do and the unconditional love we give them. It is humbling to realize how much faith our Father In Heaven has in us. It is my testimony that, one day at a time we can do it with His help.

P.S. Happy Mother's Day Everyone, and to our sweet and precious daughters, Jen, Laura and Melissa this is your Mother's Day message from me. I love you with all of my heart and soul! You make me smile all the time. And that goes for the Chris, Robert and Lowell as well, and all the kids! As far as I'm concerned, every day is Mother's Day because I have all of you! So since I got absolutely no rest whatsoever today, just for the record...I am taking tomorrow off!
♥ ♥ ♥ and flowers to you all ~ Mom

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chloe Jane is 7!

Yesterday was Chloe's 7th Birthday. When she has her Birthday I am reminded each year that this day is twice as nice because Chloe is the most special gift to our family. You can read her story here. ( If you click over to the link, you can come right back here afterwards by double clicking on the picture of our street on the header of the blog...just like magic you'll be back.)  Last night at 1:30 am I was going to write a new blog post for Chloe.  I went to the one I did last year and liked the photos so much I have decided to just tweak this one and republish it adding current photos from yesterday.

Seven years ago today one of the most wonderful things happened and we were given the gift of this precious little girl, to have and to hold from that day forward and forever.

Chlo-Jo we hope yo had a wonderful day, Honey! Here are some of the cutest pictures of Chloe. She rarely takes a bad photo. She is just so full of life and love and she has so many sides, like a beautiful faceted diamond! We love this spicy little girl!  I l enjoy looking at her at various ages and stages so we can fully appreciate the lovable little girl she has become at 7.

Some people have said she looks like her Gramma,
what do you think?
This little face reminds me of an
Our Gang or The Little Rascals photo!
She just looks mischievous and gleeful.
She's a hat girl, isn't she?
They should have invited her
to the Royal Wedding last year!
Who gets a beauty mark just in the
right place?
I love this little face!

Dressing Up with her cousin and our grandson,
for their "wedding."
Who cannot love this photo?

We have it framed in our bedroom.
Adore the tie on Zach...a white tube sock
and his super hero cape.  
Note the little bride with her 
off the shoulder gown and drooping bouquet.
  But best of all, the looks on their angelic faces.
Her serious, pensive side. (Love this!)
Her zany, adventurous, fearless side!
Her goofy side!

Her sweet, lovable side!
I think she has the most beautiful blue eyes!
Her precious side!
Her spooky side!

At 6 a look at her toothless side!

Her bedroom door was
"heart attacked"
 by her big sisters yesterday morning!
She got most of her new teeth and 
a pretty new aqua bedroom this year!

Look at her brand new blue bike!

Looking very fancy on your special day yesterday!
Hope your day was excellent, Sweetheart.
Happy Birthday, "JoJo"
We love you with all of our hearts!

And we miss you and love
that we will be seeing you soon!

Hugs and Kisses, Gramma and Grampa

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO and one to grow on XO

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Watermelon Expertise

I am a watermelon lover, are you?  I always try to find a good one and succeed most of the time.  But I love this little video and plan to use this technique in the future to insure a perfect choice.  Sweet, juicy and NOT mealy,  I bought our first one of the season yesterday.  It was OK but not quite ready.  Armed with this that should never happen again.  Love stuff like this.  Hope it is helpful for you too.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook~May 7, 2012

Just for today~Monday May 7, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my is such a beautiful morning.  Could it possibly be that the late coming winter is over and Spring/Summer is really here?  The temperatures are to be in the 80s with sun all week.  The birds are chirping and sweetly singing this morning as if they too are rejoicing.  I just love it when I check the weather on my phone and it shows me those six little yellow suns all in a row! California Girl for sure!

I am thankful for...and filled with gratitude for waking up happy most mornings in spite of the trials and tribulations we all go through.  It is wonderful to have that peace in Christ that comes in no other way.  Looking to Him and the Gospel and the light of truth is the best way for me to get through life with much happiness and for this I am so thankful.  Knowing that many I love deeply also feel the same is the icing on the cake.
From the learning room...that I love quotes and the one that I have been thinking about and learning from is the one I published a few days ago that I saw at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.  Walter Patter, "Life is to be lived intensely, with an ideal of beauty."  I just love this and I believe in it.  Give life your best and seek to embrace beauty of all kinds.  For you LDS friends, I am thinking of the 13th Article of Faith.  I just love this part of our doctrine.   When you do you will be happy and see beautiful things everywhere.

 "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, 
benevolent, virtuous,
  and in doing good to all men; 

indeed, we may say that we follow
  the admonition of Paul -

 We believe all things, we hope all things,
  we have endured many things, and hope

 to be able to endure all  things. 
If there is anything virtuous, lovely, 
or of  good report or
  praiseworthy, we seek after these things." 

I am reading...Lots of my own genealogy log posts and trying to learn how to do a PowerPoint for a class I have been asked to teach in a few weeks on beginning genealogy.  Yikes! I find YouTube to be such a valuable resources for researching anything you want to learn to do.   It is so much better to actually see it done than to just reading someone's instructions.   Hopefully all this work of the past year and some months will come to mind when I need it.  Fingers crossed.

From the kitchen..I just got back from the store.  I am doing this post in bits and pieces.  We are having clam sauce and linguini tonight and broccoli and a salad.  The best part of my shopping trip was getting our first watermelon of the season.  Woohoo...summer is officially here.

I am missing...all my sweethearts.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...God is the epitome of loving patience, isn't he?  He constantly reaches out to us no matter how many times we mess up he forgives us. He is all about lifting and redeeming and edifying and loving unconditionally.  It is my desire to be more like that with everyone I meet.  Sadly we struggle with the natural man in ourselves constantly but the important thing is to keep trying and overcoming and mastering the art of daily living.  It happens in small steps and a lot of time, mixed with a tremendous amount of His grace.

I am hearing...absolutely nothing...a rare moment.  It may be my nap that I hear calling my name.  Yes, that is it.

One of my guilty pleasures...A movie on my own in the middle of the day.  I haven't done it in soooo long and the time is almost here.  I can feel it in my bones.

Pet Peeves...people that are not blind but still cannot see the light. 

I am get going on dinner when I get this finished.  At the rate this is going today we may never eat dinner!  I am getting a lot done today but it is one of those days I am all over the place like a giant hummingbird!

One of my favorite things...Who do You Think You Are? NBC.  I have yet to make it through one of those without crying.

I am quoting...Laura and Ross.  "Mom, when I grow up I am going to name my son Ross."  Oh  that is nice, a Ross and a Ross Junior.  "Well actually Mom I was thinking about Ross 2.0!"  This kid lights up the world with his funniness.

An enjoyable movie we have watched lately...John the process.  Jim is really liking it too.  Marie, thank you for your tip on Julian Fellows' Titanic.  I signed up in the queue on Netflix and got the message "a very long wait".  I went to a local box store and found it on sale for $14.99.  Snagged it.  So thanks!  Without you mentioning it I never would have seen or known it was so good.

I am curious many things.  I find this to be a great blessing.  When we lose our curiosity and enthusiasm for life we start heading downhill. 

If I could change one thing it would would be that every Christian would read this blog post and everything this woman writes which is pure in an day out.  If I could write like Ann Voskamp I'd quit my day job...if I had one!  I hadn't been there or to any blogs in ages and I am wondering why I am denying myself of the richness here and on your blogs too.  Note to self...Change!  This post is on Motherhood (whether you are a mother or not, you are a nurturer and you have a mother) and it is beautiful.  So I'll include the link and wish you a very Happy Mother's Day on Sunday.

Plans for the rest of the week...WW Meeting and work tomorrow, Wednesday get my PowerPoint going and take my good friend's Mom to lunch, Celebrate two grandkids getting one year older so blogging, De Young Art Museum on Thursday in SF, sometime getting ready for Mother's Day company.  Friday Friends to visit. Oh and I am sure there will lots of other stuff peppered in.

A photo I am sharing this week... another old picture of Jim and me with our Jennifer as a tiny tot.  The older gentleman in the background is Jim's Grandpa.   This one is entitled..Family Kiss.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Short Story About Snakes, Bugs and Rodents

But first something lovely just because every post 
deserves to be decorated with something pretty!

 In our genealogy and family history group we have started writing a little story of our childhood memories and sharing them with each other at the end of our meeting.  This has been a remarkable experience.  Every single story that someone else shares triggers memories for Jim and me about our own lives.  These triggers seem so important when trying to remember actual things about your youngest years so it doesn't just become a fog. 

My story for today is included here.  Nothing earth-shattering, just a fun exercise in creating tidbits of a personal history that can be short and easy to write and hopefully enjoyable reading for other people.  The extra bonus is that we are getting to know our friends even better through the sharing of these little stories. 

  A Snake in the Grass 
Beats a Snake in the House! 

I have never been a big fan of the lower forms of animal life like snakes, mice, spiders, wasps, grasshoppers, potato bugs or crickets. (I fully admit being just a little prissy and girlish about these sorts of things).  Some of these annoying things I like way less than others.  Since they are all equally unappealing, I have been thinking about what makes one more distasteful than another?  Don’t worry, you too can do this sort of self-analysis when you retire and finally figure out what makes you tick, (or in this case twitch).  Here is a trilogy of events that has helped me sort this out at long last.

#1.    Snakes:  When I was a child I went to a reptile museum and was just fine petting the snakes to verify that they are not really wet and I even let them tickle my hands with those piercing, little, red, forked tongues.  So, innately, I have no fear of snakes.

A few days after returning from a family camping trip, I was walking down our hall and caught a glimpse of a snake slithering lickity split across the floor and running for cover in our living room.  I screeched and jumped up on our couch while my Dad tried frantically to catch it with brown bag and broom in hand.  In the meantime my mom sprang up on the couch and started freaking out with me.  (Hey, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree)!   Finally my Dad succeeded and the culprit turned out to be a ten-inch lizard.  I am not afraid of lizards, so you’d think that would be the end of it.

Well, actually it totally freaked me out more because that thing was lurking in our camping gear, which just happened to be by me in the back seat of the car.  Thoughts of the possibility of it jumping out and scaring me half to death made my skin crawl.

#2      Bugs:  When you are a kid you often catch insects and little critters and put them in jars, poke holes in the lid, throw in some grass, you know the drill.  My brothers always had something rooming-in in the house and that didn’t scare me at all. 

One day I was out in the yard with my Dad and I think he had me trimming a bush.  All of a sudden I had that creepy feeling that someone was staring at me.  I slowly turned my head to the right and there on my shoulder, peering right at me was this giant green grasshopper.  It was so close to me I could see its eyes blinking.  Holy Shivering Cow~!  I flicked that thing so hard off of me that it hit the fence.  Then I cried because it scared me so bad.

 My Dad heard me and came running to see what happened.  When I breathlessly told him, he gave me that look that only a perplexed male can shoot to a frenzied female.  (I didn’t actually recognize it as such then, but I would now...just sayin'). He said, “Oh Honey, I think you’ll live” gave me a squeeze and then he slowly turned and walked back to his flowerbed.  I heard him say, “Sheesh” and then he muttered some inaudible stuff about women, I think it was…as he went back to work.

#3.    Rodents:  We all have had our share of field mice in the house occasionally, right?  I totally hate them and they are an annoyance and pests but I they don’t really scare me.  I mean I have never jumped up on a chair or anything even though they do make me shutter and feel disgusting.  When I was pregnant with Chris, we lived in a house on a golf course in Pleasant Hill.  Our neighborhood had an invasion of mice when they were doing some work on the third hole that stirred things up pretty well. 

 We’d hear a lot of snapping traps and in my hormonal state it pretty much creeped me out.  I kept thinking I’ll just get on the bed and cover up and that should be safe when the mice would come out at night.

One day I was talking over the hedge to our elderly neighbor, Mr. Wheeler.  He told me of his experience the night before.  It had been a warm evening and the moon was full.  He and Mrs. Wheeler were lying on the bed with the window and drapes open for ventilation.  He was having trouble going to sleep so he was just lying there thinking about how pretty the moonlight looked on the wall when suddenly a mouse scampered right across he face.  Oh my heck, that about did me in!  I never had one day of morning sickness in any of my pregnancies but I felt like throwing up right then and there.

Have you ever tried to sleep on your tummy at 7 months pregnant with the covers pulled way up over your head on a hot night?  Well don’t, it is not comfy at all!

So it is not the creature that scares me, it is the sudden, frightening appearance they can make at anytime when you least expect it.  Mix well with my vivid imagination and you’ve got trouble….one terrified, shrieking lady!  It is the surprise and the what-ifs that do me in every time.  That and the fact that I just flat out do not like anything that slithers, stings, jumps at will, bites or runs across my face or that just plain looks ugly like a potato bug.  And now don’t you go  tryin' to tell me you do!  Well OK, Susan, you can but nobody else!